vegan peanut butter chocolate cupcakes!

IMG_3464This amazing recipe comes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World (thanks for the shower gift, Alexis!). They involve a chocolate cupcake with peanut butter frosting piped into the middle, frosted with a thin coating of chocolate ganache, and then decorated with more peanut butter frosting (you can just pipe it through a plastic bag with a little hole in the corner if you don’t have piping bags).

If you don’t tell people it’s vegan, I swear they won’t know. The texture is perfect in both the frosting and the cake, and they taste so rich and wonderful.

Makes 12 cupcakes.

chocolate cupcake ingredients:
1 cp soymilk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
3/4 cp sugar
1/3 cp canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract, chocolate extract, or more vanilla extract
1 cp all-purpose flour
1/3 cp cocoa powder, preferably Dutch-processedIMG_3469
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

cupcake directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line muffin tins.
2. Whisk together the soy milk and vinegar in a large bowl and set aside for a few minutes (this makes a good substitute for buttermilk. in fact, you can add vinegar to regular milk and that works for non-vegans if you need buttermilk for a recipe).
3. Add the sugar, oil, and vanilla extract + other extract to the soy milk and beat until foamy.
4. In a separate bowl, sift (either with a sifter or just through a sieve) together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add this mixture in two batches to the liquid ingredients and beat until no large lumps remain.
5. Pour into liners about 2/3 up and bake 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely.

chocolate ganache topping ingredients:
1/4 cp soy milk
4 oz semisweet chocolate chips
2 tb pure maple syrup

chocolate ganache topping directions:
1. Bring the soy milk to a gentle boil in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and add the chocolate and maple syrup, stirring the mixture until it’s completely smooth. Set aside at room temperature until ready to use.

peanut buttercream filling/frosting ingredients:
1/4 cp margarine, softened
2 tb shortening
1/3 cp creamy peanut butter (plus a pinch of salt if you use unsalted)
1 tb barley malt syrup or molasses, optional
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cp confectioners sugar, sifted (I didn’t sift it, and it was fine)
1 to 2 tb soy or rice milk

peanut buttercream filling and frosting directions:
1. Use a handheld mixer to cream together margarine and shortening at medium speed until smooth. Add peanut butter (and salt if unsalted), barley malt syrup, and vanilla, and beat until very smooth, 2-3 minutes. Beat in sugar – it will be stiff and crumbly. Dribble in soy milk a little at a time, beating continuously until frosting is pale tan and very fluffy.

Assembling the cupcakes:
1. Put the frosting in a piping bag with a thicker tip or into a zip-lock bag with a hole snipped off a corner. Have the ganache ready with a spatula.
2. Use a clean pinky finger to dig a delicate hole in each cupcake’s center, and press gently against the bottom and sides of the hole to widen it.
3. Pipe peanut buttercream frosting into each center.
4. Spread ganache thinly on each cupcake and allow to sit for a few minutes to get a little harder.
5. Pipe decorations of whatever frosting you have left on the top, or just blob it on top.IMG_3466

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